Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Seeing is Disbelieving

For years I threatened to start a blog about my misadventures in retail at the chocolate shop.  I had the name picked out "The Bitter(sweet) Chocolatier" (as the naming of the blog is often more interesting than the contents of it), but was just too lazy to actually start it.  My main goal was to write about all the jerks and idiots who darkened my door, getting the last laugh as I exposed their stupidity and/or jerkitude to the whole world.  I figured the majority of my clientele didn't read blogs and those who stumbled upon an entry would read it and be too out of touch to realize that they were the jerk/idiots about whom I was writing.

As fate would have it, for the first time since I've had this blog up and running, an opportunity to blog about an in-shop experience manifested itself and of course, instead of me writing about how I'm serving the jerk/idiot their just desserts (I know--bad pun), I'm writing about I got served.

Yesterday a teeny, tiny little grandmother (think garden gnome without the beard) came in with her granddaughter.  At first glance, I would have guessed the granddaughter was 5, but then I remembered that school had gone back and unless the garden gnome was flaunting her truancy, that would have aged her around 4.

Grandma starts to tell me how much she enjoys watching me on tv, referring to my recipe spots on our local Fox 8.  At this point, the 4 year old looked solidly at me and assessed the psuedo celebrity in front of her.  She wrinkled her even tinier garden gnome nose, tilted her head and all the time while keeping her eyes on me, said in a condescending manner (a manner typically reserved for use in comments from Mary Margaret, my best friend), "SHE'S on tv??".

There it is.  My ego was handed to me by a 4 year old.  She came.  She saw.  She assessed.  She conquered.  In three words.  I'm glad I had lipstick on.  Imagine the damage to my psyche she could have wrought otherwise.

Maybe I need to call that truant officer just in case.

Monday, August 29, 2011

The First Day of the First Grade (and Fifth too)

Between going to  the lawyer's office for signing of the papers to sell the shop and all the tennis action, we also threw in another milestone--first day of school, first grade for PeyPey & fifth for LuLu.  We are very well steeped in back to school traditions in our house and the festivities began a few days in advance.  The first tradition (ok, this year we were slack and it actually ended up being the last thing we did, but apart from my admission here, no one will ever be the wiser) is that we make the girls stand beside the school sign to get a picture to document their growth.  A bonus addition is that we get to document their growth from lovely sweeties into full fledged tweens with emerging adolescent angst.  The scowl on Lulu is quite advanced for her grade level.

After the annual takin' o the pic, the next thing up is the Night Before School Dinner.  Sounds fancy, but it's nothing more that dinner at the Pioneer.  Good eats, but no fancy silverware.  We don't know the genesis of this dinner, but we stick to it every year (and I look forward to another night of not cooking, but then again most nights I don't cook).  In theory we discuss our plans and goals for the year over a nice plate of sirloin.  In reality, we play "how many people in here do we know and how many know us?".  We lost this time, as somebody who knew us came over to talk and I had no idea who it was.

The morning of the big first day, the girls dressed in their matching Target dresses.  I was sad over the prospect of this being the last year that they will match.  Lulu will be heading to a new middle school next year  where she'll be too cool to dress like her sister.  Plus, this is her last year with her sizes in the kids department (juniors?? my nerves aren't strong enough to handle the juniors department).  We made them pause for obligatory pictures.  We even took pictures of them walking their own version of the funeral march to the car. You could almost hear "dum, dum, da dum, da da dum dum, dum dum dum" as they trotted out.

Go get 'em girls!  Let's make it a year with lots of fun memories and hopefully, lots of learnin'!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

The Winston Salem Open, Final

Hurricane Irene was busy pounding away on my family down east, but here, 300 miles inland, we just had partly cloudy skies with a light breeze.  The Winston Salem Open surely wasn't bowing down to mere winds so I donned my WSO tee (er, uniform) for the last time and drove back to Winston.  I was officially working so I had to report to my station at the Media Desk before going in to have any fun.  Not saying that the Media Desk wasn't fun, just that my duties there consisted of the same thing I hated in college on my work study job--making copies.  I copied a zallion daily newsletters, to be distributed at the main gate.  Boring work, but at least I had the challenge of changing out toner.  Magenta even.  Not just the boring big black cartridge, but a colored one at that.  An advanced level of intimacy with a copier that a mere, ordinary volunteer could only aspire.  I was a top notch volunteer.

The media center was full-er than it was last Saturday.  There were a few reporters with laptops and some photogs with mack daddy cameras with lenses long enough to act as spy satellites from space.  I still have no idea where the "international press" I was promised were.  Possibly some of the reporters could have had an aunt who knew somebody from Canada, and that fulfilled the requirement, but that's just me, hazarding a guess. The draw sheet had only been filled in to about the second round--but then again, details are overrated in reporting these days anyhow.
This is on my Christmas list.  

Details?  We don't need any stinking details!

After making a bazillon copies, I delivered my stack of newsletters to the main gate and went off to find my lovely friend, Robin the Abandoner.
A perk of volunteering, skipping the line.
I met up with Robin at the Corona Bar and quickly staked out a claim on a bar stool.  Sitting in packed stands was for losers and Robin & I had figured out how to work the system.  We put on our best Norm and Cliff impersonation and drank Coronas while watching the match on the tv at the bar--20 feet away from the stadium court.  We debated for a while and it was settled that I am Cliff, given that I am a fountain of useless knowledge.  Since Robin had abandoned me in my time of need (snapping a decent pic with Baghdatis), I figured that my retribution would be drinking on her tab.  With beer at $6 a pop, that tab increased exponentially during the course of the 3 set match.  She won't be able to make her mortgage payment this month, so I figure we're even.
Norm would be proud.

We held down our end of the bar for the better part of 3 sets.  At the last changeover before match point, we ventured into the stadium and tried to find space.  Thankfully our t-shirts (er, uniforms) and creds allowed us entry and we got a semi-unobstructed view of Isner serving it out for the win.  I was proud of our hometown guy.  I didn't hold his defeat of Baghdatis against him.  Ok, I did, but not too much.  Isner is a really nice guy & I know his mama has to be proud of him.

It's hard to believe it's all over.  The months of preparation.  The steep learning curve of working the copier.  The stalking of my favorite player.  It was one heck of a ride!

Bring on the Winston Salem Open 2012!!  I am ready!  I'll just volunteer to hold a rope or something next time.

Friday, August 26, 2011

The Winston Salem Open, Baghdatis Edition

I have strong preferences.  Either I like something or I don't and more often than not, there is no sound basis nor logical rationale behind my choices.  Such is the case with my favorite tennis player, Marcos Baghdatis.  I have no idea why I like him.  I just know that I like him.  Maybe it's the fun spirit he shows on court.  Maybe it's because he reminds me of a good friend of mine (although the friend is Italian and Marcos is a Cypriot--that is fun to type!  Cypriot. Cypriot. Cypriot.)  Maybe it's just because I finally learned how to spell his last name.

For whatever reason, he has captivated me since his final run at the Aussie Open in 2006.  When I finally got around to checking out the Winston Salem Open's website and see who was actually playing (which I blindly volunteered to work at the WSOpen a month prior, when my friend Robin said "international media"), I saw that he was on the roster.  It was like Christmas in August!  I couldn't have been more excited had Johnny Depp showed up on my doorstep with a Starbuck's iced caramel macchiato in hand and the promise to whisk me off for unlimited shopping at Sephora.  In New York.  The really big one.  With lots of lipsticks. I stood a good chance of watching my favorite player in action!

Usually the forces of the universe conspire against me to and thwart any aspirations that my plans will come to fruition, so I was merely hoping to catch a glimpse of him from my nosebleed seats.  However, I must be living a better life, so forces smiled upon me Tuesday and had Baghdatis practicing on court 1.  THE COURT WITH THE BEST VISIBILITY AND VINICITY TO THE MASSES!!!  Yeah, THATcourt #1.  Not only that, but he actually walked in the gate behind me.   BEHIND ME!!!!

Doing what any stalker fan (I wonder how you say stalker in Greek?) would do, I sat there beside the practice court.  For an entire hour and a half.  And watched.  I felt like a 12 year old girl seeing Justin Beber, only less squeal-ly.  My friend Robin sent me a text "Where r u?".  I shot back, "Duh, stalking Bags".  For an entire hour and a half, there was a mere chain link fence between me and my favorite player.  I was semi-well behaved and only mildly stalkerish.  I took pics.  I uploaded them to Facebook.  I tweeted.  But I didn't move.  For an entire hour and a half.  For a caffeine addict with a possible touch of ADD (or SUBTRACT or something), enthralling me for an hour and a half is a rare feat, indeed.

When his hour and a half of practice was over, a flock of 6 year olds swarmed him for autographs.  And me.  A woman old enough to be his big sister.  Any smooth and chatty lines I had rehearsed in my mind flew straight out my head and I turned into a 12 year old, wearing a scrunchie.  I handed my camera to some complete random lady, as my friend Robin had long since abandoned me for loftier goals.  I stood beside him for a pic, but not too close, as I didn't want to get thrown off the grounds for harassing the talent.  I thanked him, wished him good luck for the rest of the Winston Salem Open and got my camera back from the random lady.  When I checked my pic, it wasn't there.  The random hadn't gotten it at all!  Undaunted in my 12 year old scrunchie-dom, I chased him down, asked for one more picture (I may have cried and begged, but semantics, whatever).  This time the random actually got the picture.  I look like a complete and utter doofus (wonder how you say doofus in Greek?).  I am standing so far away from him, you could park a Hummer between us.  I am leaning into the frame in such a way as to lead one to think I merely popped into the scene at the moment the shutter released, just for comedic effect.  Something akin to the fools that bounce around behind ESPN commentators at basketball games.  All that is lacking is me holding up my index finger for the #1 effect.  I am a goober.  A big old doofus-y goober.

Marcos was quiet, but polite.  Then again, my idiot self had emerged and shut down my thought process so I didn't utter a word or try to initiate small talk.  Perhaps I was operating under the wild animal premise--I didn't want to speak and spook him and send him darting back to the cave that is the players locker room. I *think* I *perhaps* said "thank you" for the second picture (Robin is soooo not getting a Christmas card this year.  On that note, maybe the doofus pic will BE my Christmas card this year!).

It was the epitome of fan/stalkerdom.  An hour and a half of unadulturated staring, culimnating in the holy grail of fandom, a pic with him.  I hate that my brain went into safe operating mode, abandoning conversation and opting to focus solely on the important things like breathing.  All I'm asking for is a "let" and allow me a do-over.  Please come back to the Winston Salem Open next year!  Pretty please?

The Winston Salem Open, Part 1

Back in the spring, I heard that Winston Salem would be hosting an ATP tennis tournament.  It barely registered on my enthusiasm radar, as I hadn't played tennis since the previous millenium and the strings on my Yonex had dry rotted along side the free time I had follow the sport in depth.  I was pretty sure that Borg was no longer playing, but other than that I had no idea what to expect.  One of my closest and dearest friends, Robin, sent out the call (via Facebook, as if there is any other way to broadcast to the masses these days) for volunteers to work in the media center.  She had me at "international" and since any chance to step away from the Sound & Fury for a day or so is welcomed, I gave her a hearty "Sure. Why not.".

It poured down rain the morning of volunteer orientation so the whole operation was pushed inside the indoor tennis center at Wake Forest University.   It was a cozy little adventure with just me and 300 of my closest fellow volunteers crammed into one tiny place.  I managed to pick up my "creds" (fancy speak for my lousy passport-esque pic on a Champion lanyard) and my "uniform" (fancy speak for 2 tshirts and a hat).  After the greeting by the tournament director (who stood on a chair and yelled to the crowd, the WS Open version of the Sermon on the Mount), we broke up into our respective volunteer groups.  As it turns out, my group was based in the WS Open equivalent of Arkansas, still technically on the grounds, but far enough away to vaguely still be considered Southern.  We learned what our vital job as mighty media volunteers included;pulling things off the printer and making copies.  Finally!  My work study job in college had paid off!
We aren't supposed to loan our "cred" out.  As if anybody wants to look like this pic.

Volunteering definitely has it perks.  We got four free tickets to the tournament.  Four tickets, provided that we use no more than two per night session and provided that the seats didn't exactly have to be together.  Turns out that the seating numbers and rows are merely suggestions more so than rules, as even the judge on court tells people to "take whatever seat so play may commence".  

On the bright side, the Winston Salem Open drew in some big name players.  I mean big.  They don't come much bigger than John Isner at 8'9" or thereabouts (who, by the way, is perhaps the nicest tennis player, perhaps even nicest guy, on the face of the planet).  They even had other big names as Andy Roddick, Lleyton Hewitt (who I still hold a grudge against for the Kim Clijsters breakup) and Nikolai Davydenko.  I would list others, but frankly I can't spell any of their names well enough to even Wikipedia them.  Not only did they land the big name players, but they allowed the fans to have access to them.  The players strolled along the same paths as the rest of us poor smucks.  The practice courts were open to actually allow fans to watch them, well, practice.  It was great! I know that last sentence sounds a lot like a sentence my 10 year old would reluctantly write for an essay on "What I did this summer", but  it was truly GREAT! (Now I sound like Tony the Tiger).  The players were right there for autographs and photo opportunities and for the most part, they seemed happy to oblige.  This is a truly fan nirvana--getting up close and personal with players (but not too personal, as they did have security on grounds and I'm sure they would have hauled me off to the pokey if I tried to pokey Marcos Baghdatis).  I took all of these pics myself with my point and click camera, so that just shows you how close I was.

Despite the fact that I snarked about the seating, truth be told, there isn't a bad seat in the whole joint.
Davydenko, Blake, Haase

Hewitt and the other guy I was pulling for.  Nobody breaks up with my Kimmy Clijsters!
We also got to see Andy Roddick beat a qualified in a night meet.  With Andy's prima donna attitude on court (complaining about noise, complaning about the official's rulings, complain, complain, complain), I decided not to waste any effort snapping any pics of him.  He won.  yippee. 

I am headed back in the morning for my last day of volunteer work, which happens to be the last day of the tournament.  I figured I couldn't afford tickets to the finals, so at least I will be on the grounds.  Or at least the Arkansas equivalent on the grounds.

Safety First!

Lulu came home today with her badge of honor--her Safety Patrol sash.  Each year 24 of the biggest, baddest, upperclassmen (er, 5th graders) act as Safety Patrol (ok, so not baddest.  It just sounded better than best behaved).  They open and close car doors, direct the non Safety Patrol masses to the proper car rider car, enforce the rules of no running in the halls, and in the case of the rare hellion, offer an escort to class to ensure the hellion gets in the proper spot to in hopes education might be bestowed upon him/her.  Lulu has been in training for this for 6 years, bossing her sister around and tattling on her every move to us.  She has mastered the technique.  She is ready for the gig.  She has added mumbling under her breath to her repertoire of late and that will be ideal for when she has to utter "have a nice day" to the car rider car drivers.

This is a novel concept to me.  I went to Christian school.  We didn't have Safety Patrol to open the car doors.  We had to tough it out and do it ourselves (trust me, on those 70's car, the doors weighed approximately the same as a baby hippo).  As for acting up on the way into the class, well, we were Christian school students and had to answer to a power much higher than principal.

I'm proud of my Lulu!  I hope you bust lots of those pesky first graders for running in the hall.  On school property, between the hours of 7:30am-7:55am and 2:20pm-2:45pm, you have my full permission to bring the smack down on your sister.  Provided she is running in the hall.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Done Deal

It's done.  The day I thought would never get, here finally arrived.  We met with the lawyer this afternoon and signed the papers for the sale of Mama Laura's Chocolates.  I'm feeling pretty ambivalent at the moment--not sure which emotion to follow.  I keep reminding myself that the sale is a good thing.  A really good thing.  Even though the business bore my name, I had completely been stripped of my individuality.  I am finally going back to find the Burdie that was paused 11 years ago to start a family.  I am selling to a couple who have worked here for over a year and know it inside and out.  They are good friends and I feel like I'm leaving my baby in very good hands.

I am looking forward to the small things that I haven't been able to have for the past four years.  The small things that sound silly and petty, but nevertheless give me pleasure.  Manicures.  Perfume.  Wearing clothing that requires dry cleaning.  Having a defined lunch time that isn't interrupted by waiting the counter.  The ability to openly speak my mind without fear of damaging sales.  Small things that add up to the total sum of who Burdie is.
I certainly wish them well.  Both the shop and the Shivelys.  I know they love it and will continue to ensure its growth.  Now I can resume ensuring my personal growth.
Here's to a long life!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Life, Science & Future School Selection

Each year we try to take the Sound and the Fury out for a fun day on the last Saturday before school starts.  Last year, we took leave of our senses and allowed them chose the destination for the outing.  They chose Celebration Station and I learned that after a day spent surrounded by swarms of free range kids, seizure inducing strobe lights and noises loud enough to make a Def Leppard roadie go "huh--what'd you say?", the only celebrating I did that day was when we pulled out of the parking lot.  We pulled the parent trump card this year and made the executive decision to take the girls to the Life & Science Museum in Durham for the day (ok--so maybe it was a ploy to make them extremely comfortable with Durham so they'll feel at home in a few years when they are undergrads at Duke).

I haven't been to the L&SM since I was in fifth grade.  I had vague recollections of a lunar pod, the train and Mark Carroll.  I was 12 & my priorities at that time were somewhat skewed.  J had taken the girls two years ago, while I was busy with being a bridesmaid for my sister's wedding production.  They were taken with the pooping caterpillar on display in the butterfly house and I have to admit, I was curious to see what this pooping caterpillar was.  
This chap was free range on the grounds the last time I visited.

Turns out L&SM has changed a lot since my last visit.  I don't remember the grounds being as large, or the exhibits as interesting.  The main building has hands on exhibits about weather, fossils, space exploration and so on.  I loved that they actually encourage kids to touch and manipulate and I didn't have to spend every second yelling "Look with your eyes, not your hands!".  They even had an indoor wildlife display, which didn't impress me much.  I see robins, turtles and opposums in my back yard but I'm chalking that display up for the inner city folk who have never had to experience a psycho robin attack the mirror on their car.  Every single day.  For a month.  But I digress.  The girls loved the math section, but my poor artsy brain could only stand so much talk about dodecahedrons, so I begged for a change of scenery.

The outer grounds are enormous; huge acreage devoted to "The Wild" with black bears, ringtailed lemurs and red wolves and "Country Barn", farm animals are on display (it was one chicken away from horrible flashbacks of my summers spent with my Grandma Holloman).  There is a half mile "Dinosaur Trail", where you can amble among dinos ready to turn you into their lunch.  The trail culminates in a fossil dig (perhaps serving a warning to any pesky dino who succeeds in turning a tourist into a canape').  Lulu has an uncanny ability to spot fossilized shark teeth a mile away (perhaps due to her daily practice of looking for shoes in the landfill she calls her room) and we walked away with the 6 fossil limit.

Got to love child labor!
The butterfly house was a must see on this trip (after all, I had a pooping caterpillar to check out).  In addition to butterflies, there are also exhibits on large bugs (which I could do without) and frogs, so of course Lulu was riveted (I resisted the urge to put "ribbeted").  I couldn't get over how tame the butterflies were.  The butterfly house even has a mirrored exit hallway so that guests can inspect themselves to be sure no butterflies were tagging along on a ride to the outside world.  I did get to see the pooping caterpillar, which is in effect, a very large green caterpillar hanging onto a leaf.  He (she? it?) was sleeping so I didn't get to see the magnified eating/pooping process.  Oh well.  I'll take it on their word that it is as cool as they made it sound.

Of course any trip to Durham would be remiss to exclude a tour of Duke's campus.  
One day I hope to say "My child and my money go to Duke".

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Spit It Out Already, Garrison Keillor!

My all time favorite show is The Gilmore Girls, a rapid fire exchange of verbage, fueled by massive intakes of coffee.  When one character verbally limped to a point, the poor shop manager urged her to "Spit it out already, Garrison Keillor".  While that line garnered a laugh from me, I thought "hey, wait a minute, I LIKE Garrison Keillor".

When J heard that the summer version of NPR's "A Prairie Home Companion" was coming to the White Oak Amphitheater in Greensboro, he asked if I wanted tickets.  Since my Saturday nights usually involve listening to Keillor on NPR and drinking a beverage or three and since the string groupie in me wanted to see his "band", I said sure.  What could it hurt? To get away from the Sound and Fury offspring show and see an act I thought I like sounded like fun.

Like most things in my life, what sounded like fun ended up being as far removed from fun as the Titanic was removed from a leisurely trans Atlantic voyage.  After parking, the festivities got started, walking past an ocean of poorly parked Buicks, all in the gargantuan sized handicapped lot--twice the size of the non-handicapped lot.  The gate attendants gave a cursory glance through my bag, but it was more just going through the motions than actually searching for contraband, as contraband here would have been more off-label denture cream than liquor.

We entered the brand new White Oak Ampitheater and immediately realized they named it that only because it sounded more poetic than Gray Cinderblock Ampitheater, as cinderblocks were everywhere and the only proof of a tree was a design of a leaf of the stage banner.  It looked as if somebody had decided to hold a luau behind the high school gym.  Discount store tiki torches and cinderblock.  J had shelled out some big bucks to get us reserved seats and were quite dismayed to see that the reserved "seats" were merely plastic folding chairs, zip tied together and placed into rows.  The row "markers" were cinderblocks in the ground and the row number was written in chalk.  I was very tempted to go erase the bottom line from the "E" row and confuse everybody with two "F" rows.  To further add to the classy atmosphere, the stickers to indicating the actual seat number were only indicative every 5 seats.  I could hear John Madden in the background "She's at the 15, the 10, the 5--SHE'S FOUND HER SEAT".  As luck would have it, our 2 seats were between 2 overly endowed ladies.  I was tempted to ask them if I could go for a spin in their sidecar and snack on foie gras, but knew they'd never get the reference. I couldn't even afford to get a buzz to make the evening better, as beers were $9 or $11 a pop.  I couldn't even get a caffeine fix, as a Mt. Dew was $4.  Geez, for those prices I hope to see some paint covering that sea of gray bricks the next time I come.

The show started punctually at 7:30. The official name of the "tour" was the Summer of Love and by looking at the audience, the majority of them were already AARP members when the true summer of love occurred. Garrison came out, sang a ditty about Greensboro, which, ironically, garnered the most applause when he mentioned High Point.  That was truly the high point, as it rapidly went downhill from there. I soon realized that I either drink way too much on Saturday nights, waiting for the Shamrock and Thistle to come on NPR, or either I didn't listen to it as much as I thought.  He sang numerous love song duets with a girl young enough to be his granddaughter, which gave the evening a nice, lecherous feel.  To up the ick factor he talked about sex.  It was like hearing your grandfather talk about the time he knocked your grandmother up.  Eww.  Just eww.
 He tried to be "hip" by walking out into the crowd, tv evangelist style.  Given that the ampitheater had crushed gravel for the aisles, I was more worried that he'd fall and break a hip.  He preached to the lawn crowd and launched into a story about his sister and some guy who ate roadkill.  Nothing like paying good money for a seat closer to the stage than having him stand behind you for 20 minutes.  At least I got to pretend I was back at home, listening to the radio.
For me, the saving grace was the sound effect guy--the game white haired guy who is on "Between the Lions", which my girls adore.  Had they had words flying around his head to create a compound word, like on "Between the Lions", I would have waited outside like a groupie to get his autograph.
The band was also extremely impressive (is "band" the proper term here?  "gaggle", "swarm", "pod" perhaps?) and I would have listened to them play for the entire 3 hours.  However, the format was heavy on the Garrison/jail bait songs and the dull/morbid ramblings and not enough of the sound guy (although I could have done without the sperm travelling to the egg sound effect bit) and the string section.  2 hours and 45 mins into the event, I felt myself stifling the urge to yell "Spit it out, Garrison Keillor!".

At least we had good weather.  At least the girls had fun with the babysitter.  At least he was wearing some cool red tennis shoes.  At least we were able to beat the crowd out to the car, as our younger legs ran faster.  And that my friends, is the news from Lake Wobegone.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Half and Half

PeyPey, the younger of my two daughters and the Fury portion of my Sound and Fury travelling offspring sideshow act, is a miniature me, apart from the fact that she will eat anything that slows down to get in her mouth, while I have a more *discriminating* palate.  In fact, my two children are polar opposites, just as their father and I are.  This has provoked many an unsolicited “spitting image” comment.

Yesterday, PeyPey finally realized that people were making these comparisons between our children and the respective parent.  “Mom,” Pey said, “I’m like you AND Daddy.”

Wondering where she was going with this, I had to ask what she meant by that.  Hoping to hear her rattle off a list of superlatives about me, “dynamic”, “beautiful”, “intelligent”, “great sense of humor”, “kind nature”, or any combination of those, I stupidly asked what she meant.

“Well, I’m like you because I hate snakes.  And I’m like Dad because I want my back scratched,” PeyPey quickly snapped me back to reality, squashing the replies I still had echoing around in my head.

That will teach me to ask a 6 year old a deep end of the pool question, as her reasoning is still sweetly stuck in the baby pool.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Ignorance is Bliss

After a kidney jarring 4 wheel drive on Cordova Beach in our ancient Chevy Blazer, whereby I vowed to get down and kiss the asphalt if we landed safely back on normal people roads, we were celebrating by tossing back Spree candies.  We were all too scared to try to eat them while driving on the beach, as they are small enough to quite easily lodge in a windpipe while going over another rut and we had two Costco-esque sized boxes of them, just waiting on us.

During this moment of "thank goodness we didn't have to call AAA" jubilation, Lulu pondered aloud if a Spree would fizz if placed in a warm bathtub.  I thought that she was trying to make a reference to the by now infamous Mentos and Diet Coke combination, so I tried to correct her by asking, "Don't you mean Mentos and Diet Coke?".

"No, mom.  I mean Sprees and bathwater.  The Rolaids I threw in the tub with me were awfully fizzy & I'm just wondering if Sprees would do the same, " Lulu corrected my correction.

Rolaids & the bathtub???

I really don't want to know.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

AARP Approved

Every now and then I feel old. Not physically old, as in arthritis and bursitis, but more a mental state of mind. I get glimpses of future Grandma Burdie, wearing support hose under my elastic waist shorts, sticking tissues up my sleeves and having my signature red lipstick migrating into the big old wrinkles around my mouth. I see the future and it ain't gonna be pretty.

Before leaving the beach, I had to make an emergency run to CVS for some, er, necessities. Lulu, my oldest daughter and the Sound portion of my travelling Sound and Fury offspring sideshow, asked to make this run with me. Having a $5 bill in my hand, I was glad to see my necessities were only around $2.50 and I wouldn't have to break out the debit card. Lulu, while waiting in line with me to check out, asked if she could get her a "little something" from the candy display. Being well versed in Lulu's standard MO, which is making me purchase a few seconds of mother daughter bonding with a "little something", I told her yes, because I am enjoying the small purchase price of her love now, realizing it will escalate exponentially once the teenage years hit.

She grabbed a pack and gum and tossed it up on the counter with my necessities. The cashier rang my purchases up & the total came to $8.49. Even given Dare County's 85% or thereabouts sales tax, I should still have come in well under the $5 limit. When I looked at the screen, I saw that my darling, angelic child had opted for a $4.97 pack of gum. GUM! Once the initial shock wore off, I opened my mouth to say something and was surprised by the future Grandma Burdie tirade that fell out of my mouth. "$5 for a pack of gum? What's it got, gold in there? For that price they need to whiten my teeth, freshen my breath and do my taxes. $5? For that price it needs to last longer than Dick Clark's career!" I may have even thrown in a line about "in my day" and quite possibly "fixed income". I went on so long about the blatant usury that the poor cashier, eying the line growing longer by the minute behind me and wishing to expedite the transaction ASAP, offered to void the gum and let Lulu pick another choice.

Lulu quickly opted for another pack of gum, one that I didn't have to get a second mortgage on the house to afford. I hastily handed over my $5. And the remnants of my youth.

Friday, August 12, 2011

I Warned You!

Here it is. I have finally decided to blog. With a lot of impending free time on my hands and with idle hands being the Devil's playground and all, I need a diversion. Without a diversion, my mind will surely engage in planning an Ocean's 11 style Sephora heist or figuring out how to follow John Cougar Mellencamp around the country--his tour, not him personally as I'm sure he reeks of Marlboros and Bengay. My best friend, Mary Margaret (name changed to protect the guilty) has a blog and she got free Downy blue balls for her efforts. Keeping out of trouble AND scoring free swag??? Absolutely! Where do I sign up? Count me in! The additional perk is now I have a forum for retribution to my beloved family for all they have put me through! Who's got the upper hand now? Mwahahahah!

While I don't know what will develop during the course of the blog, I can promise that this won't be one of those cutsey poo, sweetie pie, perfect family blogs. My family trends more towards Roseanne than Father Knows Best, Hoarders than Leave it to Beaver and Let's Make a Deal than Ozzie and Harriet. We are loud and sometimes messy, but we love it that way. Nor will you find any helpful crafting, do it yourself tips. My only tips would be to grab your credit card and point and click. I'm not a crafty person. I get my artistic needs fulfilled by looking at the color palette at the aforementioned Sephora.

So here goes nothing. As my grandfather always said, shaking his head post facto "I told you, I told you, I told you".